Daniel Fritsch June 29 2015 2 min read What's in this article? Supply Chain Management in HVAC and Plumbing What does this mean for HVAC and Plumbing? EazyStock Inventory Optimization for the HVAC and Plumbing Industry Supply Chain Management in HVAC and Plumbing Many Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning (HVAC) and plumbing distributors think they are too small to invest in supply chain management and inventory optimization solutions. These same HVAC and plumbing industry distributors report having large gaps in supply chain visibility which leads to disorganized and inefficient inventory operations. Supply Chain Management (SCM) is a set of cross-functional processes that allows for the efficient flow of products and the most effective utilization of resources. Many of the common tools used to manage, control and distribute inventory are Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, Warehouse Management Systems (WMS), Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems and Inventory Optimization (IO) Software. More specifically, SCM spans all movement of materials and product inventory from manufacturing point-of-origin to point-of-consumption by the end user. SCM encompasses the inventory planning and management of all activities involved in sourcing, procurement, manufacturing, distribution and logistics management activities tied to inventory. It also includes coordination and collaboration with channel partners which includes suppliers and customers. In short, SCM integrates supply and demand management within and across companies. What does this mean for HVAC and Plumbing? Most small and mid sized HVAC and Plumbing wholesale distribution businesses have the same functions as much larger corporations: Distribution Operations & Warehousing Procurement & Purchasing Inventory Management & Control Sales & Marketing Financial Controls Customer Service & Customer Relations Each of these functional areas of the business is made up of the same 3 core elements: people, process, and technology. However, these functional areas typically have conflicting priorities and incentives in the supply chain. Finance wants to reduce working capital tied up in stock, management wants to carry extra inventory to ensure customers never experience a backorder, and operations wants to reduce time spent keeping track of all the inventory across networks of warehouse locations to increase planner productivity. With all these conflicting priorities, there are a number of questions the organization should ask to further break down departmental silos: Are we doing things the right way to manage our costs? Is our supply chain as efficient as it can be? Is inventory being managed the same way by everyone in all our locations with the same technology? Are we getting product from suppliers and to customers in the most efficient and responsive manner? How are we leveraging technology to work smarter and not harder? Are there areas in our operations where we could eliminate or decrease operating expense and cost? What could we improve, without adding cost? Do I have the right people in the right process? EazyStock Inventory Optimization for the HVAC and Plumbing Industry With EazyStock, all functional areas in the supply chain can seamlessly align around unified strategic goals. Each area can have access to the right data and can implement more accurate procedural controls for inventory management that help maximize the value of every dollar spent on inventory carried. Reduce the time it takes to have the right part on hand when you need it and ensure your customers keep coming back with EazyStock. EazyStock helps the HVAC and Plumbing industry manage the following elements of the supply chain: Seasonality Planning Multi-Location Planning Supplier Management Item (SKU) Level Reporting Historical Sales & Demand Reports Replenishment Automation Systems Integration Learn More: Share Daniel Fritsch June 29 2015 2 min read Sign up for the EazyStock Newsletter Stay on Top of the Latest News, Trends, Tips, and Best Practices for Supply Chain Management, Inventory Optimization, Replenishment & Purchasing, and Demand Forecasting with Our EazyStock Newsletter.